How to Import & Export Contacts to a New Phone

by Cee Jay
Jupiterimages/ Images

Contacts are stored on the SIM card, which carries data related to your cellular service. If you have an iPhone sync it to iTunes and your Contacts are backed up in addition to all other content. When you activate the new phone you are asked if you'd like to restore from the backup. On Android however, contacts are saved to the SIM and synced to Gmail automatically.

Gmail Account

Step 1

Launch "Settings" from the home screen or tap "Menu."

Step 2

Scroll down and tap "Accounts and Sync."

Step 3

Tap "Add Account" to create a new Gmail account or log in to an existing one.

Place a check by "Background Data" and "Auto-Sync."

Import and Export

Step 1

Go to the home screen and tap "Contacts." If you do not see it, launch it from the Dialer or tap "Applications."

Step 2

Tap "Menu," then "Import/Export."

Step 3

"Export Contacts to SIM."

Step 4

Turn the phone off using the Power button.

Step 5

Flip it over and remove the battery cover. You might need to slide a lever or use a flat tool to pry it off.

Step 6

Slide the SIM out with your finger. Your battery might be in the way; remove it, if necessary. If you have an SD card lift the metal holder to take it out.

Step 7

Open the back cover on the new phone and push in the SIM and SD card, if applicable.

Step 8

Replace the cover and press the "Power" button.

Step 9

Go to "Contacts" and press "Menu."

Tap "Import/Export" and select "Import from SIM."


  • If you have an SD card, you can also choose "Export to SD," and a .vcf (vCard) file is saved to the card. When you transfer the card to the new phone, choose "Import from SD," and the contacts are loaded from there.
  • If you set up Gmail when you first got the phone, there is no need to to go to "Add Account." Just make sure it says "Sync On" next to the Google account under "Accounts and Sync."


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Cee Jay began writing professionally in 2009 with work appearing on various websites. She has been repairing computers since 2000 and focuses on topics related to PC support/repair. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Franklin University and also studied advanced language arts at the Center for Arts and Sciences.

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